Eat­ing Clean

Spring is the per­fect time to ditch the junk in your diet and re­place it with nour­ish­ing whole foods

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - by Liana Werner- Gray

Spring is the per­fect time to ditch the junk in your diet and re­place it with nour­ish­ing whole foods. And ac­cord­ing to Liana Werner- Gray, au­thor of The Earth Diet, it ’s eas­ier than you think.

When I talk to peo­ple about the im­por­tance of whole, nour­ish­ing foods, I speak from ex­pe­ri­ence. When I was 18, I struck out on my own for the first time, and that’s when I started to in­dulge in junk foods. Choco­late with dairy, re­fined white sugar, fast foods, fried chicken, pizza, cakes, cook­ies, gummy bears— I ate any­thing that I felt like eat­ing. And I quickly be­came ad­dicted, which led to the fa­mil­iar ups and downs of eat­ing un­healthy foods.

You might know the cy­cle— eat­ing sugar gives you that won­der­ful rush, but then you come crash­ing down and you try to es­cape the “low” by eat­ing even more pro­cessed foods. This vi­cious cy­cle usu­ally de­vel­ops into an ex­tremely poor re­la­tion­ship with food.

Five years of un­healthy eat­ing landed me in the hospi­tal with a lump the size of a golf ball stick­ing out of my neck and a di­ag­no­sis of stage 1 can­cer in my lym­phatic sys­tem. My im­mune sys­tem was weak­ened, I was also di­ag­nosed with chronic fa­tigue, and my blood work turned up Epstein- Barr virus and warn­ing signs of leukemia. But even though I knew sugar was de­stroy­ing my health, all I could think about was my next fix. I had to break this vi­cious cy­cle once and for all to re­store my health, but the thought of giv­ing up ice cream, burg­ers, tacos, and choco­late for the rest of my life was al­most too much to bear. There must be a way, I thought, to en­joy these in­dul­gences in a more nour­ish­ing way with­out sac­ri­fic­ing fla­vor. And that’s when I started cre­at­ing recipes filled with nu­tri­ents like pro­tein, vi­ta­min E, and an­tiox­i­dants to re­place my fa­vorite pro­cessed foods. Dur­ing my heal­ing process, ev­ery time an im­pulse popped up, I thought, “Okay, how can I ful­fill this crav­ing in a

health­ful way?” And then I would make, say, a choco­late- peanut but­ter cup us­ing real ca­cao pow­der and maple syrup in­stead of reach­ing for a Reese’s cup.

Us­ing this swap- out sys­tem, along with juic­ing six times per day, I was can­cer- free in three months. The tu­mor com­pletely dis­solved, I’m still can­cer- free to this day, and my re­la­tion­ship with food has com­pletely trans­formed. And if I can do it, you can do it too.

Mak­ing the Change

When some­one is strug­gling to get health­ier, I sug­gest two things. First, com­mit to hav­ing a glass of fresh juice ev­ery sin­gle day. This will take care of the ba­sic nu­tri­tion your body needs to en­er­gize and stay in the healthy zone.

Sec­ondly, ask your­self, “What is my big­gest ob­sta­cle in terms of food?” What do you eat that you know isn’t good for you, but you just can’t re­sist the urge? It could be any­thing from choco­late to cheese to chips. Once you de­ter­mine the cul­prit, seek out health­ier up­grades.

The best way do this is to make home­made, health­ier ver­sions of your fa­vorite foods. If that seems too daunt­ing, go to the health food store and buy or­ganic, non- GMO al­ter­na­tives. This sim­ple act can help you get over the guilt as­so­ci­ated with eat­ing junk and put your mind and body at ease. From there, it’s a process of con­tin­u­ing to refi ne your eat­ing habits. If you’re al­ready eat­ing the clean­est cheese pos­si­ble, for in­stance, but still fi nd that it’s a weak­ness, look at how many times a week you eat it, and com­mit to cut back. If you in­dulge in cheese four times a week, make two times a week your goal. This way, you aren’t cut­ting your­self off com­pletely, but you are tak­ing con­trol of your food— in­stead of let­ting your food con­trol you.

Us­ing this up­grade sys­tem, I shed all the ex­cess weight that I had gained from pro­cessed foods and refi ned sug­ars, healed my body, and trans­formed my re­la­tion­ship with food.

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